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The Valley of Dry Bones
by Wayne Dailey
Here's a situation in God's Word which expresses something very deeply unto us.
We, too, can be found in a valley of dry bones, in a place where it's spiritually dry and destitute of the Spirit of God, a place where no joy is to be found.
This text is speaking of Israel being brought back to life. We're seeing God fulfilling this prophecy in our present day. God is bringing forth the children of Israel from the midst of the Gentile nations unto the promised land - bringing them home from the valley of dry bones.
But this text also has some bearing upon the Gentile believers. We don't want to be in this place of dryness in our experience. We don't want to be in the valley, where we can't grow or enjoy the blessings of God.
you in such a dry place today?
Are you in a place where there is no anointing? You hear sermons on current events, and messages that convey you shouldn't have any joy in serving Jesus, messages that reflect being a Christian should be long-faced ceremonialism.
Things can be so spiritually dry. You find yourself in a pasture where the grass has all been eaten, there's only stubble next to the sod.
I thank God there is a river of life where we can truly be satisfied. Those who press their way in, and are filled with the Holy spirit, have rivers of living water flowing from them.
No longer in a dry land.
There is an answer to that dry, religious ceremony and tradition. It is God's answer for you: being truly born again, and filled to overflowing of the Holy Spirit.
Many would try to drain every bit of your emotion - until they have you in a spiritual straight-jacket. They'd have you feeling that it was a sin to smile, or to say Amen in church.
No wonder people are getting so discouraged. No wonder they're discouraged with church. No wonder so many of the young people want nothing to do with church.
They went there seeking the Lord, and all they found was current events. They went there looking for something real, and only found a dry form of godliness that has no life nor joy to it.
You can look at your watch and time these dead services to the minute. You can know exactly what will be happening next. It's the same ritual and ceremony service after service. Nothing changes.
Listen, there is a better way. There is a way that's more joyous and happy. There is that place where God promised we could be filled to overflowing. God has promised to pour out the Holy Ghost upon on all flesh. And He is pouring out His Spirit on all who hunger and thirst to go deeper.
But there are still many who wander around in a barren valley.
If your soul isn't satisfied, God wants you to come out of that valley. He wants you to know Him of a truth. He wants you to be born again, and to go on and be filled with His Holy Spirit.
Yes, God will fill you to overflowing of His Spirit - if you will come His way. Turn aside from that dry valley. There's no message of hope or joy there. There is no anointing over there to accomplish anything in your life.
Do you go to church dissatisfied? - and come home dissatisfied?
Know that God's arm isn't shortened that it can't save; neither is His ear heavy that He can't hear. Cry out to Him, Oh, God, I am tired of this dryness. My soul isn't satisfied. I want an experience that is real. I want to rejoice in You.
Prophesy upon these bones -
Here is the message that God is speaking through the prophet Ezekiel in the midst of these dry bones: He is referring to the children of Israel being scattered abroad, among the nations, in a dry spiritual state. This is the dead, destitute condition that Israel is in today.
But God is in the process of reviving. He is in the process of bringing them back from the four corners of the earth. And in this prophecy, He is telling them to hear the word of the Lord.
This is the answer to that dry spiritual drought that seems to be blighting so many souls: they should stop, and hear the word of the Lord.
Here is a prophecy unto the dry bones, both in Israel and the Gentiles: in the last days, God will pour out of His Spirit upon all flesh.
If you will open your life unto God, this is His message unto you. This is the cure for that spiritual dryness in your life. He said He would pour out His Spirit upon ALL flesh - and that includes you. You can have a real experience with the Lord. You can go on to see these signs fulfilled in your life, these signs that are connected with the blessing and outpouring of the Spirit of God.
Many stand back and say it's just emotionalism. To them, all of the excitement, all of the joy, all of the speaking in tongues and prophesying, all the praying for the sick - all of that is mere emotionalism.
What they're doing is trying to hold you prisoner in the midst of the dry valley. They tell you that the waters of God, which are so freely flowing today, are nothing more than human emotion.
I want you to know that it's not emotionalism. It's the Baptism of the Holy Spirit being poured out upon all flesh. It is the speaking in other tongues which the Lord told us would be evident when He poured out His Spirit upon us. Yes, it's the power and anointing of the Holy Spirit - not emotion.
We have to enter in, and really get into the fullness and the main stream of God's blessings.
are two routes to choose from -
Which route do you want to take?
In the route of dry bones, you have to be straight-faced; you can't crack a smile, or show any emotion; you wouldn't dare clap your hands, or say Amen to the preaching of God's Word.
But in the route of God's blessings, you will find fullness of joy. This is where God said He would pour out His spirit upon all flesh. This is where the rivers of living water are to be found.
Which way are you going to have it?
you going to have it like God said in His Word. Are you going to repent, and really get saved? Are you going to go on to seek out the infilling of the Holy Ghost?
Are you going to get something burning in your soul that's going to move you on with God?
Or are you going to stay in the graveyard? stay down in the valley of dry bones? stay down where you don't have a spiritual spark in your life?
I want you to know that you do have a choice. It is either diving in where the waters are deep - or it is staying in a dry valley of old bones, where there's a form of godliness with no power to it.
A true man of God will preach unto you about the river you should enter into. He will point out to you the way of the Lord, and show you how to go deeper in your experience.
You ought to turn away from the voice that denies the power of God, that denies the supernatural. Such a voice tells you there isn't such a thing as speaking in tongues or prophesying. It will tell you that God did away with all of that: He doesn't do anything like that today,
You need to choose which way you are going to go. Are you going to take the negative route? or are you going to take the positive route? Are you going to believe the preacher who preaches the power of God? or are you going to believer the preacher who says that God's power died when Peter died?
Those dry preachers can really lay it on and inform you that God isn't manifesting His power today. But I want you to know that they are in the valley of dry bones.
I want you to know that the Lord prophesied hope to those in such a condition. He said that He would pour out of His spirit upon all flesh.
Don't stay in that valley of dry bones. Let the Word of the Lord enter into your dry soul. Let it water you down with the waters of life. Rise up, and take the things of God seriously. Press your way in, and let the Lord do something new in your life. Let Him add joy and life and peace. Let Him put the power in you to live a victorious life, and to be an effective witness. God is offering you a way of life. He is offering you a way of deep, rich spiritual blessings. It is yours just for the asking. Enter in and receive something real down in your soul.
The positive message of God -
This message from God is exciting. It is a positive message, spoken unto the valley of dead bones. Though you may be living in a valley of dry, dead bones - you can live. You can have new life and joy. You can have the blessings of God flowing down upon you. God will revitalize your spiritual life. He will restore you and put His Holy Spirit within - fulfilling His Word in your life.
Your body is an abiding place for the Holy Ghost. God is wanting to pour out of His spirit and fill you to overflowing. He wants to put the fire of the Holy Ghost burning in your heart and soul.
If you're living in a valley of dry bones today, let me ask you a question: Do you want to live? Do you want God to breathe the breath of life into you?
Open your ears, and hear what God has to say. He told us that in the last days He would pour out His spirit upon all flesh. He wants to do a work in your life - but do you want to respond?
Well, I wonder, too.
Does God really have you in that dry place? Is it His will for you to abide in that dry atmosphere, where your soul isn't being fed? Is it really God? or is it your loyalty that keeps you in such a destitute place?
Listen, if the pastor doesn't have the fire of God burning in his heart and soul, what can you really accomplish there? If he's not really interested in the things of God, and is just preaching about the things of this world, can God really use you in such a place?
God certainly wants to use you, but He wants you in the place where you can be used. He wants you in the place where you can give out what He gives you, and it will be received.
You can go on in a form of godliness, hearing the negative messages. You listen to what God used to do, and what He doesn't do any more. Stay in that dead, negative attitude, where the blessings of God are termed emotionalism - stay there and stay there . . . and eventually you will rot there.
You are not profiting yourself in that type of an atmosphere. It will only starve you to death. You're being poisoned by negative teaching and preaching. You need to hear the positive message of God's Word - the message that he will pour of His spirit upon all flesh in the last days. This is the hour wherein God is certainly fulfilling His Word. He is pouring out His Spirit upon all who will get into the stream of blessing. People are pulling away from the dry valley. They are pulling away from the messenger who preaches a negative message, a message that only tickles the ear of one's intellect.
We have to hear God's Word. We have to stop and take the message of God more seriously.
Understand Jesus is coming soon, and we have got to get ourselves prepared.
The hour of His coming is at hand. It is time to arise and trim our lamps! time to make sure that our vessels are full, and our lamps are burning brightly.
Is Jesus going to find you faithful in that day? or is He going to find you in a valley of dry, dead bones? Will He find you in that place where you're allowing God to move in your life? or will He find you listening to a dead preacher, telling you that God doesn't pour out the Holy Ghost any more.
Listen to the voice of God in these last days. He is declaring that He wants to fill you, that He wants to endue you with power from on high, that He wants you to get your lamp burning brightly. Make sure your lamp is clean. Make sure you have oil really flowing in your vessel.
The Bible says that Stephen was full of faith - and full of the Holy Ghost. This should be the testimony of each of us - that we are filled with the Holy Ghost. This is what God has promised us. He has promised to endue believers with the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, with speaking in other tongues.
God isn't offering you a dry form. He isn't trying to make a dry bone out of you. He is trying to get you into the place where He can fill you to overflowing, to where the power and blessing of God will really burn in your heart and soul.
Real life -
Ezekiel was amazed when the Lord spoke unto him to prophesy to these dry bones. When God asked him if they could live, he just scratched his head, and said, O Lord God, Thou knowest. Ezekiel thought those dry, dead bones had gone too far to ever live again.
And now, we find him prophesying to those dead bones; and they begin to come together, bone to his bone. There was a shaking and a rattling among those bones, as they came to life.
It's a strange thing. Wherever life is, there is movement. Wherever life is being manifest, there are manifestations of joy and happiness.
And if there's a manifestation of joy any place, it certainly ought to be in the house of God. This is where dead people find new life. This is where they are able to find new joy and peace.
These dry bones are typical of the social religion that seems to be so plenteous today. So many are bound over in a form that doesn't change their hearts, doesn't change them deep down within. This is like trying to turn over a new leaf. My, you get as much advantage out of joining a club as you do in joining a social church. At least, when you join a club, you don't become a hypocrite.
It's a valley of dry bones when everything is done on a social level, when everything is centered around social activities. There is much talk about God, but no preaching that changes lives, no preaching against sin and ungodliness. The Gospel message that you must be born again isn't mentioned.
There are two kinds of religion that dominate the scene today: one, as we have mentioned, is social; the other is spiritual.
The spiritual church is on fire for God, preaching a complete Gospel - salvation, the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, the power to heal and deliver, the power to break the yoke of bondage and live victoriously.
It's up to you. You have to decide if you want life. You have to look things over and make a choice. If you want spiritual life, you're going to have to get out of that graveyard, and go where you can hear the Word of the Lord.
Don't let loyalty stand in the way. Many are so loyal to a place filled with dry bones, a graveyard. They wouldn't dare leave that cemetery - because they like that social form. But there is something much better than being loyal to a cemetery that does you no good. Such a place is lullabying souls off to sleep. They slumber away from week to week, never hearing anything that will stir conviction in the heart and cause them to go deep with the Lord. You can loyally serve such a place unto the Lord comes - but you'll find out that such lukewarmness won't get you into the kingdom of God.
A lukewarm church is dead, to the extent that life is no longer moving in it. It is just form. It is make-believe, a conscience soother - making you feel you've done a good thing by just being there.
You have to reach the place where your loyalty is to God. You must serve Him where there is life, and where there is freedom and liberty in the Spirit.
pastor who wants the fire -
Sometimes, a pastor may have to move on, because his people want to remain in the valley of dry bones - while he wants the fire of God moving in his life.
I knew a pastor who had pastored a church that was bound in social form for years. One day the pastor was filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to go deeper with God.
Every time he wanted to stir his church to move on with God, the board would give him the same answer: Listen, we've done it this way for years, and we're not going to change now! They'd been dead for forty years, and they weren't about to come to life just because the pastor had a fresh touch from the Lord. They just didn't want to hear the Word. They had no desire to go deeper with God.
Well, the pastor got so discouraged that he resigned and took up another pastorate, where he might move on with God, and where he could minister life unto hungry souls.
The army of God -
I want you to understand that this message in Ezekiel is basically speaking of the restoration of Israel in the last days. The day is coming when Israel will be fully restored back to the spiritual splendor she once had with God. That day is coming into fulfillment now. And, as time goes on, we will see it fulfilled to the letter.
But this restoration also applies to the Gentiles. God is wanting to bring men and women out of the dry, barren places, and give them fullness of joy.
Let's look at God's remedy to this dry place:
When Ezekiel prophesied unto the wind, the wind moved and life was given: those dry bones became an exceeding great army. So it is when God pours out His Spirit upon those who let Him fill them to overflowing. The next thing you know, He is raising up a mighty arm of Spirit-filled believers to stand with Him.
This is what is it like for those who have come out of the valley of dry bones. This is what we are seeing today. God is pouring out His Spirit, and the gifts of the Spirit are in operation in and through His people. He is fulfilling His Word - just as promised.
God gives us something far greater than a social, dry religion! He lifts us into the realm of spiritual blessing, where He will pour out His Spirit and grant an enduement of power from on high - that these mighty works might follow us.
What is God's answer to that dry, barren place? His answer is to really get saved, and then go on to be filled with the Holy Ghost. You have to come to the place where you rise up to claim the blessing of God, the place where you get down to business and seek God to fill you with the Holy Ghost.
God will certainly honour His Word. He will pour out His Spirit upon you, if you want Him to. You will be baptized with the Holy Ghost and speaking in other tongues. When God said He would pour out His Spirit on all flesh, that word ALL includes you, as well as anyone else who will open his life to Him.
Here's a promise for every believer. God promises to take you deeper. He will breathe His Holy Spirit into you, and fill you to overflowing.
Claim the promise by faith -
John the Baptist was testifying Jesus would come and baptize with the Holy Ghost, and with fire.
If you will enter in and seek out the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, Jesus will add this to your experience. Exercise your faith in the promise of God, and claim it for your own life. Press your way in - and He will fill you.
you can go forth in the army of God to conquer the enemy, and live a victorious
Christian life where His works will be evident.